Report: 60% of Users Unwilling to Vacation Without Mobile Device

A new report from Expedia and Egencia reveals the behaviors and preferences of mobile users while traveling.

Expedia and Egencia, Expedia’s business travel brand, have revealed the results of the Expedia / Egencia Mobile Index, which measured the behaviors and preferences of mobile users while traveling. The study was conducted by Northstar, and gathered data from 9,642 travelers from 19 countries.

The study found travelers now consider their mobile device the ‘single most indispensable’ item they take with them when traveling, rating it higher than their toothbrush, deodorant and driver’s license. Specifically, 94 percent of respondents in both China and Taiwan said their smartphone was ‘an important travel companion,’ followed by respondents from Thailand at 91 percent.

The report found users will continue to use their devices even while on vacation, with more than half of respondents saying they would feel ‘lost’ without their mobile device while on vacation, and 60 percent saying they would be unwilling to go on vacation without a mobile device. In addition, 35 percent of users said they use their mobile device more while on vacation than they do while at home.

The study also focused on offensive smartphone behaviors, and showed 58 percent of users find ‘playing music, games or videos without headphones’ to be the most offensive mobile behavior. This is an increase of more than 10 percent from 2014. This was followed by ‘making or taking calls while on speakerphone,’ which offends 57 percent of users (up four percent from 2014), and ‘taking photos or videos of strangers,’ which is offensive to 48 percent of respondents (up from 42 percent in 2014).

In a statement, Aman Bhutani, president of Brand Expedia Group, commented:

We have found that travelers are using mobile devices at every stage of the travel process, from researching and booking trips to capturing and sharing the travel experience. And just because a traveler can use their device to read work email and stay connected to the office, they also believe it improves the quality of their vacations. Consumers tell us what they do and don’t like in their mobile offerings and habits, and we’ve been listening and steadily adapting to provide what the mobile-savvy travelers demand.

Readers: Do you use mobile devices while traveling?